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Wonderful ICE CREAM first time trying it tonight will be buying more of it.

Tina C..

Took my Mom for Mother's Day!!! Great ice cream and great service!!! Scarlett Red Velvet, Coast Praline Cream, Cherry Vanilla....mmmmmmm....can't wait to try Blackberry Crumble the next time!!! :-)

Mark G.

Just relax with your ice cream cone and watch the train - brings back old memories of long ago.

Bernice S.

I just found this FB page and wanted to let you know that I will be visiting your store next summer when I am in NC. I have never tasted this ice cream, but I have heard about it all my life!

Linda W.

This is a wonderful establishment. The interior design is extremely inviting and the staff is always warm and friendly. Cannot wait until the weather gets warmer so I can have an excuse to buy more ice cream.

Daniel S.

DeLuxe Ice Cream Cone

N.C. ice cream competes with national brands

By Michael Hastings
Published July 4, 2012, Winston-Salem Journal

Front Porch Ice CreamA new premium ice cream is now sharing supermarket shelf space with Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Dazs – and it's made in North Carolina.

Although the Front Porch brand is new, the company is not.

Since 1924, the Mooresville Ice Cream Co. has been churning out ice cream at 172 N. Broad St.

The company was started by B.A. Troutman and a handful of investors. R.C. Millsaps was hired to run the plant, and by 1947, the Millsaps family had taken over the business.

Over the years, the Millsapses built the DeLuxe brand of hand-scooped ice cream. They added novelty products, such as the DeLuxe Nutty Cone and the Mooresville Bar. They sold them through a network of convenience stores, soda shops and restaurants through parts of North Carolina, mainly from Asheville to Greensboro.

Many small-batch, family-owned ice-cream businesses packed it up over the years, but Mooresville Ice Cream persevered. It didn't grow a lot, but it stayed in business.

Meanwhile, in Statesville, the Stamey family had been farming since 1951, when Bob Stamey's father, Howard, started a dairy farm and heifer business. It eventually became a sizable exporter of cattle.

Bob Stamey had done business with Francisco Alarcon, whose Toni Dairy Industry SA made yogurt and ice cream in Ecuador, and the two had become friends.

"I had sold him Jersey cows, and we had a good relationship," Stamey said.

When Alarcon started looking to expand his yogurt business in the United States, he turned to his friend Stamey. They eventually teamed up to form Origin Food Group and build a yogurt plant in Statesville next to – and supplied by – Stamey's dairy farm.

"We have a long dairy history here, and this was just a way to expand on that tradition," Stamey said.

The yogurt plant opened in January, and Origin now makes a shake of yogurt blended with fruit puree sold under the brand "frush." It is sold in Lowes Foods and other supermarkets.

In 2009, while the Stamey and Alarcon families were still working out plans for the yogurt plant, they learned that the Millsapses wanted to sell Mooresville Ice Cream. The ice-cream company had not seen much in the way of growth, and none of the younger Millsapses was interested in carrying on the family business.

The Stameys and Alarcons bought the ice-cream company in September 2009, and Barbara "Babi" Alarcon, Francisco's daughter, moved stateside to oversee the operations of both the yogurt business and the ice-cream company. Now she is CEO of Longitude 80 Dairies LLP, a holding company that encompasses Origin Food Group, Mooresville Ice Cream, the new Mooresville Ice Cream Parlor and Mooresville Real Estate Co.

(The name Longitude 80 Diaries reflects that Statesville and Guayaquil, Ecuador, the home base of Alarcon's Toni Dairy Industry SA, are both at 80 west longitude.)

The purchase of Mooresville Ice Cream made sense, Barbara Alarcon said, because the yogurt and ice-cream businesses have many similarities. And this gave the Alarcons and Stameys opportunities to network with suppliers and others they would need when the yogurt plant became operational.

"We knew the ice-cream business," Barbara Alarcon said, "and this was an up-and-running business that we could operate, learning the business, while we built the yogurt plant."

In short, the ice-cream company gave the Origin yogurt company a foothold in the market.

"There are even production synergies," Alarcon said. "When you make yogurt, you partially skim milk, and you use cream for ice cream."

The company uses milk from Stamey's dairy farm, as well as from Hunter Farms and Dairy Fresh.

Alarcon said they realized early on that the DeLuxe brand had limited potential for expansion. "We realized that customers (outside of a few North Carolina counties) didn't know who we were, and supermarkets weren't interested," she said.

A marketing study, though, did show potential interest and sales growth in the premium market for ice creams sold in pints, such as Ben & Jerry's and Haagan-Dazs.

"Babi recognized that we needed a new brand to reach a modern market," Stamey said.

Thus the Front Porch brand was born, debuting in March. Now it is distributed in about 1,200 stores in the South in chains such as Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Ingles and BI-LO. This month, Front Porch also will be sold in Food City stores.

In stores, Front Porch is sold only in pints. Alarcon said a small amount is sold wholesale to restaurants in 3-gallon containers.

Compared with DeLuxe ice cream, Front Porch is higher in butterfat, though not as high as some premium brands. Instead, the company is setting itself apart through distinctive flavors that have a Southern flair. The 15 flavors include several aimed squarely at a Southern market, including Nana's Banana Pudding, Sweetie Tea and Scarlett Red Velvet. Other flavors include Blackberry Crumble, Peachy Keen, Lemony Sunshine, Pecan Coastal Crunch and Mountain Mint Chip.

The company does not release sales figures, but Alarcon said that Mooresville Ice Cream has grown 20 percent to 30 percent since 2009. The plant is making about 60,000 gallons of ice cream a month and has room to expand.

The marketing effort to introduce a new brand also has had benefits for the old one. Stamey said new packaging and sales initiatives have increased DeLuxe sales.

And in May, the company opened a retail ice-cream parlor next to the plant in Mooresville that sells DeLuxe and Front Porch ice creams.

With the introduction of Front Porch, Alarcon expects 2012 sales to be about four times as much as 2009 sales. "When you hit supermarkets, the numbers get big quickly because you're talking hundreds of stores," she said.

Alarcon said that Ben & Jerry's, owned by food-conglomerate Unilever, and Haagen-Dazs, licensed to Nestle in the United States, are formidable competitors. But Mooresville Ice Cream thinks it has a chance.

"The pint market is where you see some small players competing," she said. "That's where people are more adventurous. They like to try new things."

Mooresville ice cream parlor re-opens

Published May 2012, Charlotte Magazine

Mooresville Ice Cream Parlor Grand Re-openingThis Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Mooresville Ice Cream Company (186 N. Broad St., Mooresville) will celebrate the opening of its newly renovated ice cream parlor.

The company's original ice cream stand opened 88 years ago in the same location where they still make their ice cream today. Friday's celebration will include live music by singer/songwriter Daniel Smith, special discounts on ice cream, cones, and milkshakes, and t-shirt giveaways.

In addition to the company's traditional Deluxe flavors and treats, the new Front Porch line features Southern-inspired flavors including Sweetie Tea, Scarlett Red Velvet, and Nana's Banana Pudding. (Can't make it to the ice cream parlor? You can find the ice cream in Carolina grocery stores including Harris teeter, Lowes Foods, Food Lion, BI-LO, and Ingles.)

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